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National Guard has been dissolved, after having been proved by long experience to be equally worthless for defending liberty and for upholding government. The Prussian Landwehr, to which our own statesmen so confidently appealed during the discussions on the Militia Bill, is now, we are told, all but universally condemned by the most competent authorities in that kingdom. The Times' own correspondent,' writing recently from. Bedlin, says: “The test of the efficiency of the and signed by them as an ar ':e sudden summons of 1850, has shown that there has bec isgivings long prevalent on that point our forces of all kinds, apyas asserted after the confusion had
Thr -u, that the militar the measure (i. e. the summons) cost were well bestowed; fects were revealed that might have led, had war broken out to awful disasters. phlet by Major von Luek, an old and experienced officer, advocates the abolition of the whole Landwehr system as faulty, being founded on no real principle, but the feeling roused by a passing event. .... He denies that the Landwehr service is popular. The man who enters it is liable to be taken from his work or place just when he is beginning to establish himself in life, to his certain loss and possible ruin; for this he has not even an ideal reward, for it can hardly be said that a Landwehr regiment is a living military body at all. A man does not feel it a pride, but merely a material loss and a moral plague to belong to it.'
No less emphatic is the testimony we receive in regard to the American militia, to which also many triumphant references were made during the debates in the House of Commons. An American author now before us remarks : ' It has been a source of general corruption to the community, and formed habits of idleness, dissipation, and profligacy. It did a great deal to flood our land with intemperance, and muster-fields have generally been scenes or occasions of gambling, licentiousness, and almost every vice. The history of our militia drills is a tissue of such facts. In answer to inquiries made by our general government in 1826, the highest officers of the militia in different sections of the country represented “militia musters as prejudicial to the morals of the community; as assemblies of idle and dissipated persons; as making idlers and drunkards rather than soldiers; as attended, under the most favourable circumstances, with riot, drunkenness, and every species of immorality; as always scenes of the lowest and most destructive dissipation, where nothing was acquired but the most pernicious habits.'
But while utterly inefficient for military purposes, the militia, it will be seen, is an admirable contrivance for spreading demoralization and vice among the people. All ministers, parents, N.S.–VOL. IV.
and Sunday school teachers, should get by heart the following clause from the present Act:—That all mayors, bailiffs, and other chief magistrates, are required to quarter and billet the officers and men of the Militia, when called out to annual exercise, in inns, livery-stables, ale-houses, victualling-houses, and all houses of persons selling brandy, strong waters, cyder, wines, or metheglin, by retail.' Already the provincial papers are beginning to be filled with sad and sickening descriptions of scenes of disgusting drunkenness and debauchery, exhibited by the poor wretches who have accepted the government bounty, at the time of their enlistment; some, we are told, too drunk to be sworn in;' others, already committed to jail for savage assaults upon their comrades. But we know not how we can better express our sentiments on this part of the subject, than by borrowing the following language of a contemporary :— Of the corrupting influence of military service, both on its immediate subjects and the community at large, why need we speak? Let the state of our garrison towns and the neighbourhood of our barracks testify. And if we need additional illustration, we have only to look to the moral condition of the large towns and cities on the continent, in reference to which we could produce facts that would startle and appal our readers. We will mention, however, only this one :-In Munich, the population returns show that the number of illegitimate births exceeds the legitimate. Facts of a similar nature, though not quite so bad in degree, may be stated of most other continental cities. And in reply to inquiries we have made, as to the cause of this frightful and prodigious increase of social corruption, the unanimous judgment of those we have questioned has been, that it is owing, in a main degree, to the enormous number of military of every kind which constantly infest the large towns. the militia would be infinitely worse than even the regular soldiery. For these latter are a class apart, mixing but little with general society; the severe military discipline to which they are subjected forming a sort of sanitary cordon, which restricts, to a certain extent, the spread of the moral pestilence they everywhere breed. But the militia having been brought for three weeks or a month, yearly, into the very focus of the disease, are sent back into the bosom of the community, as if for the very purpose of diffusing in the families and neighbourhood to which they return the deadly infection of their licentious and dissolute morals. An English officer, publishing an account of his recent travels in Germany, and remarking on the social effects of the Landwehr, observes—“This universal soldiership is assuredly a curse; the enlisting of men for a term of many years forms better soldiers and spoils fewer citizens.
In this respect,
Doubtless many youths, their three years of heroship expired,' return to their homes lost and polluted men, and spread wide the taint of immorality.” No less certain it is, that this “force of citizen soldiers," as it is sometimes pompously called, is the very best device that can be conceived for spreading among the people a taste for arms, and a disposition to have recourse to them as the great remedy for all social and political ills under which they may labour. What has led the populations of France and Germany so rashly to seize the sword, as the means of extorting concessions from their own governments, instead of employing that moral power of public opinion, by which the popular will bas, in this country, achieved such splendid and enduring triumphs in the cause of civil, religious, and commercial freedom ? – what but the military education through which they are almost universally made to pass by means of this boasted system of citizen-soldiership? And can any man of ordinary sagacity doubt, that if you train a large body of the lowest and least irjelligent classes in this country to the use of arms, the danger may become imminent-should a crisis similar to that solemn one through which we passed in 1847 again recur—that these men will employ such skill as they have acquired in leading their ignorant, and perhaps severely suffering countrymen, in a crusade against the authorities?'
But be the merits or demerits of the militia law what they may, the question between the government and the Peace Society, in reference to these placards, is one of far wider compass and significance. For, virtually, it is nothing less than this: Have we, as Englishmen, the right to express our disapproval of what we deem faulty or foolish in any of our laws or institutions? Or is this liberty to be suddenly withdrawn from us, by a government determined' to stem the progress of democracy? There may be many in this country who have no particular faith in the principles, or sympathy with the views, of the Peace Society. There may be others who think they are utterly mistaken in their judgment both of the necessity and the value of a militia. But we believe there is no true friend of freedom in the kingdom, whatever be his opinions on these points, who will not resent this insolent attempt of a Tory administration to suppress liberty of discussion, and cheer on the committee of the above institution in all the efforts they may make to resist this first, but, we may be sure, if successful, not the last, encroachment on that only true guarantee of civilization and progress-a bold and unfettered press.
1. Three Years in Europe.
Rights, and Duties.
tian Ministry. 13. The History of Greece. 14. Erastus; or, How the Church was Made. 15. Life of Francis Lord Bacon.
16. Bibliotheca Sacra.
matized, after the plan of Becker's Ger.
Three Years in Europe ; or, Places I have seen, and People I have met.
By W. Wells Brown, a Fugitive Slave. With a Memoir of the Author. By William Farmer, Esq. London: Gilpin. Edinburgh : Oliver and
Boyd. 1852. The extraordinary excitement produced by Uncle Tom' will, we hope, prepare the public of Great Britain and America for this lively book of travels, by a real Fugitive Slave. The author was 'raised' at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1814, and removed, while an infant, to Missouri. There he saw his mother flogged on the bare back for being a few minutes behind her time in the field. After this, he was hired to a Virginian, Major Freeland, a cruel wretch, from whom he escaped to the woods; was hunted with dogs, recovered, and terribly punished. He subsequently became the hired slave of a steam-boat captain, then of an hotel-keeper, a native of a free state, and afterwards of the proprietor of the St. Louis Times,' a kind master. We next have him as a waiter in a steamer on the Mississippi, and then labouring in the field under a burning sun. Again, he became the domestic servant of his owner—a relative of his father—whose family he drove to church, having to stand by the horses outside, while they were attending to the worship of God within. At sixteen
age, he was hired to a slave-dealer, and became familiar with the scenes of horror and wickedness inseparable from that trade. Returning to his owner, he learned that he and his mother were about to be sold, because their kinsman was in want of money. They attempted to escape, but were driven back into slavery. The mother was sold into the south; the son became the property of a merchant tailor, and was sold by him to a Captain Enoch Price, of St. Louis, who employed him as his coachman. The master took the slave, along with his family, up the river to Cincinnati. As the steamer lay near that city, he made his
escape and fled to the woods. After much suffering and privation, he was hospitably received by a venerable member of the Society of Friends, whose name he assumed. He refused to buy his freedom ; and, protected by the power of public opinion against the laws of the United States, he laboured for six years as a lecturer for anti-slavery societies in New York and Massachusets. For legally securing his personal freedom, and for the purpose of constantly giving 'a living lie' to the doctrine of African inferiority, he was deputed by the American Committee in connexion with the Peace Congress to represent them in Europe.
His last experience of the American prejudice against colour was ou board the Canada which bore him to this land, where he was 'recog. nised as a man and an equal.' At Paris, he was greeted as a powerful public speaker, by Victor Hugo, Cobden, and Tocqueville. In London, he was elected an honourable member of the Whittington Club. For the last three years he has been employed as a public lecturer in the principal towns of the three kingdoms. It is a curious fact that Mr. Enoch Price, Mr. Brown's former master, visited this country during the Exhibition last year, when he made diligent inquiry after his lost property ;' but in vain. It would have been a remarkable meeting.
We have, then, in this volume, the first history of travels by a 'Fugitive Slave. Though he never had a day's schooling in his life, he bas produced a literary work not unworthy of a highly-educated gentleman. Our readers will find in these · Letters' much instruction, not a little enter. tainment, and the beatings of a manly heart on behalf of a down-trodden race, with which they will not fail to sympathize. Our old friend, James Montgomery, whom Mr. Brown found reading the · Eclectic,' will be surprised at seeing his name associated with those of · Defoe, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Chaucer,' as 'having been incarcerated within the walls' of the Tower of London; and Mr. Brown will have the goodness, in the next edition, to remember that it was in York Castle,' not in the Tower,' that the poet of freedom was a prisoner. We may, at the same time, notice that the Royal Academy' is the proper designation of the institution which has its rooms in the National Gallery.' The figure of Gulliver looking down on Lilliputians, which the writer had applied to Windsor, might be omitted from the description of York Minster.
The Notions of the Chinese concerning God and Spirits ; with an Examina
tion of the Defence of an Essay on the Proposed Renderings of the words Elohim and Theos into the Chinese Language, by William J. Boone, D.D., Missionary Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States to China. By the Rev. James Legge, D.D., of the London Missionary Society. Hongkong : Printed at the Hongkong
Register' Office. 1852. We cannot be expected to enter fully into the discussion of the very important question treated in this volume. Having failed to procure the assistance of an eminent professor of Oriental languages, we are under the necessity of expressing the best judgment we can form by persons not conversant with the Chinese language. The point of controversy between